I was at my parents house earlier in the month for dinner. As usual, we said grace before the meal. As not usual, my father said he had a “new” reading he wanted to use for the blessing.
“I heard it today,” he told us.
If you know anything about my father, you know he is offbeat.
As such, he spends a vast majority of his waking hours collecting anecdotes and stories of other offbeat characters roaming our planet. He trolls message boards in natural foods grocery stores for the most unusual query for live chickens/extra breastmilk/Wiccan play dates he can find. He listens to the sometimes-unintelligible conversations between the sometimes-crazy characters who spend their days on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue and tells us all about it. As a journalism professor, one regular assignment he gave his students was to interview Berkeley’s homeless. “They have fascinating stories to tell,” he always said.
He lives to consume the offbeat.
And so, naturally, when he said he “heard” a particular reading that day, and then that reading included such wild phrases as “great happening illimitably earth”, we did not assume we were listening to the words of an illustrious famous 19th century poet.
After he read the poem, and we said Amen, my mother and I said the same thing: “Did you get that from a homesless person?”
Turns out, it was e.e.cummings. And it is beautiful.
Note to self: e.e. cummings is not a homeless person.
i thank You God for most this amazing day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth day of life and love and wings:and of the gay great happening illimitably earth) how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any-lifted from the no of all nothing-human merely being doubt unimaginable You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened) ~ e.e. cummings ~